At MCL’s Annual Celebration on June 27, long-time tutors Newt Blakesley and Cyndy Lewis of Westport Island were honored with the 2019 Outstanding Service Award.
We also created a new Tutor of the Year Award in their names, to be given annually to a tutor who goes above and beyond the expectations of a volunteer, just as Newt and Cyndy have done for a combined 29 years!
Both Cyndy and Newt served as long-time tutors to local Elmhurst clients, writing stories, playing Scrabble, reading books, and laughing together with the groups they taught. They also have both served on Midcoast Literacy’s board of directors in a variety of capacities over the years, ensuring that MCL remains a vibrant, strong, and productive organization.
Last but certainly not least, Cyndy and Newt played vital roles in our 11-year run of The Candy Cane Train, Midcoast Literacy’s signature fundraising event. For many, many children, Newt will always be their true Santa. With a “Ho, Ho, Ho!” and a twinkle in his eye, Santa Newt stopped to talk with each and every girl and boy riding the first train of the day. Then came Cyndy, with her specially chosen Christmas stories to read aloud as the elves passed out cookies and the train headed back to the station. It is impossible to count the number of lives Newt and Cyndy touched during their years volunteering with us. Everyone at MCL wishes them the very best as they prepare to make a move to Montana next year.